For World Maker Faire 2015, we (Cemetech staff Christopher "Kerm Martian" Mitchell and Tim "geekboy1011" Keller) wanted to create a fun demo that would show what you could do with embedded electronics, a graphing calculator, and the ArTICL library for linking graphing calculators with embedded development boards. We created a light-based Whack-a-Mole game around an MSP432 Launchpad and a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. In traditional Whack-a-Mole games, motorized moles pop out of holes in a grid, and you must quickly whack the correct one on the head. In our game, the "moles" are RGB LEDs shining across holes onto CDS cell light sensors, and to "whack" them, you interrupt the light beam. You get 3 lives per game, and whacking the wrong mole or taking too long to whack a mole makes you lose a life. Hit a mole quickly, on the other hand, and get extra points. The game was a popular hit at World Maker Faire 2015 with the younger visitors who enjoyed it for its entertainment value, and the older visitors who understood the engineering behind it.
At long last, we have written up the project, walking through the process of designing the game, creating and fabricating the electronics and physical components, and writing the MSP432 firmware and TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition software. Our build log also includes photos and a video of the finished product. If you want to make a version of this Whack-a-Mole game yourself, the code is on GitHub, and the schematics and board layout are in the build log. Have you made your own cool projects connecting graphing calculators with Arduinos or MSP432 Launchpads using ArTICL? If so, we hope you'll share them with us here on Cemetech!